Chaussons aux Pommes are the french equivalent of apple turnovers. Personally, I feel that they tend to be under appreciated. When made right, they can be delightfully tasty and a great alternative to croissants or pains aux chocolats.
For those just jumping into making puff pastry, chaussons aux pommes are a great gateway. They are a bit less intimidating than croissants because you don’t have to worry about yeast in the dough. This also means that you can spread the process over a couple days, taking it slow and enjoying the process.
Making the dough
The first step of making puff pastry would be what we call the détrempe, which consists of flour, water and a bit of salt. These are mixed together to create a dough and then put into the fridge to chill before proceeding with the lamination process.
While the détrempe is in the fridge, you’ll want to prepare the butter. On a large piece of parchment paper, place the butter and start to beat it with your rolling pin, folding it over on itself once it gets too thin and then start again. Continue until the butter is soft and pliable. You’re aiming for it to be the same texture as the détrempe. Fold the parchment paper over the now softened butter, creating a square and locking the butter in. With the rolling pin, roll the butter into all corners of the square, making sure it’s all even, then put it in the fridge.
Now that the dough is chilled, you’re going to start the lamination process. The détrempe needs to be rolled out to three times the length of the butter square. Place the butter in the middle, then fold the dough over the butter, enveloping it dough. With the rolling pin, press down on the open ends, to seal the the butter in.
Roll the dough out to about 50cm in length and brush off the excess flour. If you find it resisting and shrinking when you’re rolling it out, that means it’s not cold enough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it chill a bit longer. Then proceed with a single fold as pictured below.
Rotate the dough, so the ends are on the top and bottom and the seam is to your right. Roll the dough out to about 50cm in length and brush off the excess flour. Fold both ends into the middle until they meet, brush off excess flour again, then fold in half. This completes your first double fold.
Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with another simple fold and another double fold. In total, you should have 2 simple folds and 2 double folds. When you’re first familiarizing yourself with the process, I would suggest putting the dough in the fridge for around 15 minutes between each fold. This will keep the butter from getting too soft and melting into the dough while you’re working with it.
At the end of the lamination process, I always let the dough rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before proceeding with rolling it out for the final time. Everything else comes together quite quickly.
Is it worth the effort?
It may sound like it takes forever, once you know the process, you can whip it quite quickly. If you want to spread this over a couple days, you can make the dough and do your first couple folds on day one, followed by the last two folds on day two, then assemble and bake on day three. In this case, add a splash of white vinegar to the détrempe, this will keep your dough from discoloring.
The apple filling is so easy to throw together and can be done at any time. I suggest using Golden Delicious apples as they break down quite quickly, but feel free to use any type of apple, the filling might just take longer to cook.
Chaussons aux Pommes
- Fluted cookie cutter of 12cm
- Rolling Pin
- 300 g Flour, Type 55
- 6 g Salt
- 150 ml Water
- 220 g Dry Butter
- 8 Apples
- 150 g Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 50 g Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Splash of Milk
- Pinch of salt
- Big pinch of sugar
- In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, water and salt. Mix with the dough hook until the dough just comes together, but no longer then 2 minutes. The dough will still seem coarse, but it will smooth out later.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Put the butter on a large sheet of parchment paper and start beating the butter with your rolling pin. When you have your butter square rolled out to about 12cm wide, put it in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to three times the length of the butter square. Fold the rectangle in thirds, to create a square and seal the ends with the rolling pin.
- With the seam closest to you, roll out the dough again to 20 x 60cm. Fold the rectangle in two, bringing the ends into the middle. Then fold it again in half.
- Let the dough rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, then proceed with another single and double fold. Let rest in the fridge for an additional 30 minutes.
- Peel, core and cut the apples in small pieces. Transfer to a sauce pan with a bit of water, sugar and vanilla.
- Cook covered on medium heat for 15 minutes or until the the apples break down.
- Off the heat, add the butter and mix until melted. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- Roll out the chilled puff pastry to a thickness of 4-5mm (1/8 – 1/4 inch) With a large cookie cutter with fluted edges, cut out 6 circles of dough.
- Roll out the dough again, to create ovals. Lightly brush some water on one side of the oval.
- Add a bit of filling to the center of each oval. Fold the dough over, sealing the edges together. Be careful not to press too hard to crush the layers, but make sure that it seals.
- Transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and brush the top with egg wash. Let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F)
- Decorate the top of each turnover with the tip of a knife and make a notch in each, for steam to vent.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. If desired, brush the top of each turnover with a sugar syrup.
- Serve and enjoy!